There’s only one religion story on the lead page. I always peruse it since one never knows if there will be some good fodder for my blog, or something to animate me to write a scathing letter to the editor debunking some theist’s crazy statement. This week’s story was devoted to Catholicism, boring. I turned the page and browsed the announcements that take up half of page two, the remainder of the religious section: all you can eat church buffets, church bingo events, church tag sales, church raffles, church pancake breakfasts, priest singles night, an alter boy molestation seminar, and previews of the coming Sunday’s sermons from churches all over the area.
Then, what I noticed for the first time about the “Religion Section” made me laugh out loud. On the bottom half of page two was “Strange News Stories” from around the country; you know the type “Dumb Crook Holds Up Bank with Skunk,” “Deer locked in Baskin Robins Store Gets Ice Cream Headache,” etc., etc.) On the third page of the religion section was the comics, the horoscope, and Ann Landers’ advise column. Page four was a full page business ad.
The comics, daily horoscope, funny news from around the country, and an advice column for the chronically befuddled [i.e. “Dear Ann, My boyfriend’s crotch stinks. How do I get him to bathe more frequently?”] … all grouped together there in the Religion Section!!
It caused me to ponder … do they group all the laughable, superstitious, and totally vapid parts of the paper together in this section on purpose, or is this just a coincidence? I’m thinking the former. Either way, it couldn’t be more appropriate. No sense mixing important real world events, information and fact with superstition, humor, pseudo-science, and advice to the confused and weak minded.
I wonder if this is a common practice or peculiar to NH. Check out your paper, you may be living in a less religiously infected area than you think. Or maybe your newspaper’s publisher is an atheist.